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Glaciers Spur Alaskan Earthquakes


Published 8/3/2004


In a new study, NASA and United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientists found that retreating glaciers in southern Alaska may be opening the way for future earthquakes. The study examined the likelihood of increased earthquake activity in southern Alaska as a result of rapidly melting glaciers. As glaciers melt they lighten the load on the Earth's crust. Tectonic plates, that are mobile pieces of the Earth's crust, can then move more freely, which increases the probability of earthquakes occurring in this region. Note: Animation of Southern Alaskan Earthquakes over the past decade. Data Collected: Seismic Measurements: 1/18/1993 - 8/2/2003. Animator: Alex Kekesi (GST), Stuart A. Snodgrass (GST), Marte Newcombe (GST). Scientist: Jeanne Sauber (NASA/GSFC), Bruce Molnia (USGS). Writer: Sarah DeWitt (NASA/GSFC). Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets: Terra/MODIS, Seismometer, GTOPO30, Terra/MODIS/Blue Marble, USGS/NEIC/Earthquake Activity.


Producer NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, USGS/National Earthquake Information Center

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